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Recruit Update

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
5 GP / 0 G / 6 A / 6 Pts / 2 PIM / +3
Montour is already the top scoring defenseman in the league with his 6 points, tied for 8th among all skaters.

Brandon Egli – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2015
4 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
Egli made his debut for the Vipers over the weekend after being traded from Victoria

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy is still nursing an injury that is delaying his debut for the Kings.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
8 GP / 6 G /5 A / 11 Pts / 10 PIM
Keats had a strong week with two goals and an assist over the weekend.  He’s currently tied for 6th in the BCHL for goals and tied for 15th for points.

Austin Plevy – C – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2015
13 GP / 7 G /13 A / 20 Pts / 20 PIM
Plevy is third in the league in points and tied for 12th in goals.

Troy Conzo – RW – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 or 2017
1 GP / 0 G /0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM
Conzo still has only played one game for the Bucs.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
13 GP / 2 G / 2 A / 4 Pts / 33 PIM
Nachtigall had a goal this past week.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
13 GP / 0 G / 8 A / 8 Pts / 14 PIM
Bear had three assists in his three game this past week.  He’s tied for second on Brooks in that category.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team Wisconsin U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
15 GP / 9 G / 10 A / 18 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Madison Memorial
Pelton-Byce is tied for 8th in goals and 10th in points in the Elite League, despite playing few games than most of the other players.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Waiting on HS hockey to start up.

I forgot to mention this in my recap over the weekend, but for those who missed it Zack LaRue and Oleg Yevenko were named assistant captains before Friday’s game.  Both solid choices and players who will need to do well for UMass to be successful this year.

Some interesting numbers coming out of the game against BU.  For example, their 8 goals represents 18% of their total conference game output last year.  Ugh.

Last month College Hockey News had this good introduction to some of the new stats now being used regularly in the game.  Since I enjoy numbers, you can bet on seeing some of them on FTT.

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Plevy Commits To UMass; Recruit Update

The Massachusetts hockey program picked up a commitment for next fall from Austin Plevy.  Plevy currently plays for the….wait for it….Brooks Bandits.  The Bandits are of course also the team where future Minutemen Shane Bear and Kylie Nachtigall are playing and where current freshmen Patrick Lee and Maddison Smiley had much success.  Plevy has five goals and 10 assists in 10 games for a team leading 15 points for Brooks.  He was just named AJHL Player of the Week.  Plevy has been playing junior hockey north of the border since 2009 with his best statistical season a 30 goal, 43 assist effort while appearing in 54 games with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL in 2012-13.

Plevy started the year at Merrimack where he was their top offensive recruit.  However, for unreported reasons Plevy left North Andover just days into the semester and returned to Canada.  Because Plevy signed a NLI with Merrimack and was enrolled in the school, it could complicate exactly when he’d be eligible to play for the Minutemen.  Mike McMahon has reported that Warrior coach Mark Dennehy plans on holding Plevy to his NLI and will not grant him a waiver.  Though these rules are never simple, McMahon contends that Plevy would have to sit a year at his new school and would only have three years of eligibility starting in fall of 2016.  That is my understanding of the rules as well.  However, there are always appeals to be heard, forms to be filled out, and red tape to unwind.  The UMass staff will certainly do what they can do to have Plevy in uniform next year so it should not be ruled out.

Let’s add Plevy to the recruit list and see how next year shapes up with his addition.

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
3 GP / 0 G / 4 A / 4 Pts / 2 PIM / +1
Montour had a couple two assist games last week.

Brandon Egli – D – Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) – 2015
2 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
Egli did not play this past week so he may be battling an injury.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy was reported to have joined the Kings for the season but it doesn’t appear that he’s played any games yet.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
6 GP / 4 G /4 A / 8 Pts / 2 PIM
Keats had a two assist game this past week.

Austin Plevy – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
10 GP / 5 G /10 A / 15 Pts / 18 PIM
Aside from the offensive production mentioned earlier, 18 PIM in 10 games is certainly eye catching.

Troy Conzo – RW – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 or 2017
1 GP / 0 G /0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM
Conzo did not play last week

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
10 GP / 1 G / 2 A / 3 Pts / 23 PIM
Nachtigall had a game misconduct in the one game he played in this past week.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
10 GP / 0 G / 5 A / 5 Pts / 10 PIM
Bear had an assist the past week.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team Wisconsin U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
12 GP / 9 G / 9 A / 18 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Madison Memorial
A couple readers were nice enough to pass along that Pelton-Byce plays for Team Wisconsin U18 before the HS hockey season.  Last year he helped Team Wisconsin U16 to a national championship.  He’s currently the leading scorer for the U18 team.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Leonard might be playing junior hockey until HS hockey starts as well like Pelton-Byce.  But if that’s the case I haven’t been able to track down where.

Captain Troy Power’s latest installment of his blog covers last week’s exhibition game and the typical game day routine.

Speaking of commitments, decommitments, and NLIs, Mike McMahon wrote a must read piece on the “gentleman’s agreement” in college hockey.  The gentleman’s agreement is was the promise that coaches would stop recruiting a player once he had verbally committed to another school.  I say was because some schools have chosen to abandon the agreement and will pursue other players right up until they sign their NLI.  Now if those schools were UAH and Robert Morris it would be a huge issue.   But the coaches who have publicly said they’re no longer honoring the agreement are Jerry York of Boston College, Don Lucia of Minnesota, and Mike Eaves of Wisconsin.  Obviously if those elite schools are recruiting kids beyond their commitment to another school there’s a good chance they’ll be successful.

Coach Micheletto is quoted in the article, saying the agreement “has become difficult”.  I agree.  I think the agreement is a positive for all schools in the small community that is college hockey.  However it needs 100% adherence to be effective.  And to have the top teams in DI not abiding by it, the rest of the schools who are are artificially handcuffing themselves in the process.  Teams like BC and Minnesota have enough ingrained advantages in college hockey as it is.  They don’t need to poach the recruits of schools who have agreed not to reciprocate.  So in my opinion if York and Lucia are going to play by a different set of rules, I say hell with the agreement.

Recruit Update

Getting back in the swing of things, it’s time to take a look at the future Minutemen.

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
1 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM / 0
Of course the big news recently was that the 2nd Round draft pick did not make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse and would not be eligible to join the Minutemen until 2nd Semester.  The reigning USHL Player of the Year was held scoreless in his season debut.

Brandon Egli – D – Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) – 2015
2 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
Egli was originally supposed to be playing in the USHL, in Waterloo specifically where he could’ve been skating alongside Montour, but it appears he ended up back in the BCHL where he had 11 goals and 24 assists in 53 games last season.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy was supposed to play in the BCHL this year, but was cut by Prince George after he hurt his shoulder in training camp.  Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported that he has since signed on to play with the South Shore Kings of the USPHL, but has yet to suit up.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
5 GP / 4 G /2 A / 6 Pts / 2 PIM
Keats is off to a hot start with four goals in five games played.  Last year with Powell River he had 19 goals and 36 assists in 51 games.

Troy Conzo – RW – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 or 2017
1 GP / 0 G /0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM
Conzo went scoreless in his USHL debut.  Last year he scored 22 goals and had 22 assists for the New Jersey Rockets of the Empire League.  Over the Summer he participated in the USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
7 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 Pts / 4 PIM
Last season Nachtigall had 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games while playing along side current freshmen Patrick Lee and Maddison Smiley.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
7 GP / 0 G / 19 A / 4 Pts / 8 PIM
Yet another Brooks Bandit.  Last season he had 4 goals, 19 assists, and 63 PIM in 52 games for Brooks.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
It doesn’t appear high school hockey has started yet in Wisconsin.  At least that’s where I think he’s playing.  Last year Pelton-Byce had 36 goals and 46 assists (82 points) in 24 games for Madison.  His father played for Wisconsin, scoring a hat trick in the 1990 NCAA Championship.   Pelton-Byce also participated in the USA Hockey Select 17 Development Camp over the Summer.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
High school hockey won’t start for a while.  The Amherst native had 29 goals and 23 assists in 25 games for Cathedral.  He attended the USA Hockey Select 16 Development Camp over the Summer and the Republican had this write-up on his time there.

Captain Troy Power is writing a blog during the current season.  The latest entry is pretty interesting as he walks fans through a typical week of practice.

No UMass mentions but Over The Boards ranked the Top 15 recruiting classes for this fall while College Hockey News take a look at the biggest news stories recently in the sport.

CHN also has this story URI alumni pushing for a DI hockey team.  Rhody AD and former UMass football player and Associate AD Thorr Bjorn must make this happen.  Surely someone who once donned the Mr. Slice costume for UMass hockey games understands the benefits of college hockey.

Recruit Update

Championship season is upon us, including for the recruits.

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
27 GP / 2 G / 12 A / 14 Pts / 54 PIM / +2
Gallacher went pointless in his last game.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
18 GP / 0 G / 2 A / 2 Pts
Hamilton and Salisbury won the NE Prep Championship this past weekend.  Congrats to Mark!  The last player to come to UMass after winning a league trophy with Salisbury was Will Ortiz.

Marc Hetnik – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2013
49 GP / 3 G /7 A / 10 Pts / 34 PIM
No points for Hetnik recently.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
22 GP / 12 G /18 A /30 Pts
Iovanna had a couple assists as Malden Catholic beat Springfield Cathedral this past weekend in the first of the best of three quarterfinal.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
43 GP / 16 G / 27 A / 43 Pts / 80 PIM / +9
Kravchenko did not play this past weekend.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
58 GP / 23 G / 32 A / 55 Pts / 34 PIM
Playoffs are about to start in the AJHL

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
28 GP / 7 G / 26 A / 33 Pts
Miller’s KUA club was upset in the prep tournament.  He ended the season 34th in scoring among prep seniors.

Maddison Smiley – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
39 GP / 16 G / 20 A / 36 Pts / 98 PIM
Smiley picked up an assist in his last regular season game.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
33 GP / 4 G / 6 A / 10 Pts / 18 PIM
Smith did not play this past weekend.

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
19 GP / 13 G / 9 A / 22 Pts / 22 PIM
Vatrano is on campus for Spring semester.

Brandon Wahlin– F – Austin Bruins (NAHL) – 2013
51 GP / 20 G / 43 A / 63 Pts / 68 PIM
Brandon only had a single assist this past weekend and dropped to 2nd in the league in scoring as a result

Jake Wahlin– F – White Bear Lake Bears (MN HS) – 2015
25 GP / 31 G / 31 A / 62 Pts / 26 PIM
Wahlin and the Bears had their season end in the Section 4A finals this past weekend.

Finally, I want to congratulate Justin DeSorgher.  DeSorgher is a UMass alum, longtime Minuteman hockey fan, former Section Uer, and known FTT reader and commenter.  His attention has been elsewhere this season however as he’s in his first year as the head coach of the Westwood girls hockey team.  So far so good as he has led Westwood into the Division II semifinals as the 11th seed.  Next up they’ll play 2nd seeded Falmouth on Saturday for a trip to the Garden.  Good luck to Justin and Westwood!

Recruit Update

Here’s the latest on the UMass recruits, with the new commitments included.

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
21 GP / 2 G / 8 A / 10 Pts / 38 PIM / +5
Gallacher had a couple of assists in his most recent game, a 4-3 win over Cedar Rapids

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
7 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Stats as of 1/30

Marc Hetnik – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2013
43 GP / 3 G /7 A / 10 Pts / 34 PIM
Hetnik had a goal for the second weekend in a row.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
17 GP / 6 G /11 A /17 Pts
I don’t believe it’s reflected in the stats above, but Iovanna had three assists in his game last night.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
37 GP / 15 G / 22 A / 37 Pts / 74 PIM / +9
Kravchenko did not have any points in his most recent game.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
51 GP / 22 G / 28 A / 50 Pts / 26 PIM
Lee had a hell of a weekend, scoring three goals and grabbing three assists in two games.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
19 GP / 4 G / 18 A / 22 Pts
Stats as of 1/30

Maddison Smiley – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
33 GP / 16 G / 19 A / 35 Pts / 54 PIM
Smiley had three assists in his most recent game.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
32 GP / 4 G / 6 A / 10 Pts / 14 PIM
Smith had an assist in his most recent game.

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
19 GP / 13 G / 9 A / 22 Pts / 22 PIM
Vatrano is on campus for Spring semester.

Brandon Wahlin– F – Austin (NAHL) – 2013
45 GP / 18 G / 39 A / 57 Pts / 66 PIM
Brandon had a goal and an assist this past weekend and continues to lead the NAHL in points.

Jake Wahlin– F – White Bear Lake Bears (MN HS) – 2015
24 GP / 29 G / 30 A / 59 Pts / 22 PIM
Jake scored a goal and assisted on an overtime winner in yesterday’s game.

College Hockey News has UMass at #7 in their Hockey East Power Rankings.

Merrimack Preview; New Recruit Commitments

 

Massachusetts Minutemen 10-12-2 (7-9-1) Hockey East 7th

at

#20 Merrimack Warriors 12-10-5 (10-6-2) Hockey East 3rd

It’s unfortunate that UMass must play all three games against Merrimack in the second half of the season because this is a much different team than the one on the ice at the end of 2012.  Going into the season there were a lot of questions of how Merrimack would fare after graduating star goaltender Joe Cannatta.  Early on in the season they didn’t do a good job answers those questions, getting swept by the Alaska teams and having to endure a couple of three game losing streaks.  At the close of 2012 the team was just 6-8-4 and seemed destined for middle of the pack in Hockey East at best.  But in 2013 the Warriors have gone 6-2-1 and now find themselves in 3rd place in the conference.

They’ve won recently thanks to solid defense, holding their opponents to just 1.89 goals per game in the nine games since New Years.  Junior goaltender Sam Marotta has started all but one of those games and is responsible for just one of the losses.  During that time he’s had shutouts over Maine and Lowell.  Marotta currently leads all Hockey East goaltenders with a goals against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .929.  Of course he has some pretty solid defensemen in front of him in the form of Kyle Bigos, Jordan Heywood, and Tom McCarthy.

Offensively the star has been junior forward Mike Collins who accounts for nearly 1/5th of the team’s total goals with 14.  No one else on the team has more than five.  Overall the Warriors have scored 2.67 goals per game, which puts them at 7th among Hockey East teams.  They have gotten some good contributions from their defense as well as Brendan Ellis has accumulated 10 assists while Heywood is tied for second on the team with five goals.

Due to the snow, UMass got a couple extra days of rest as Friday’s game against Northeastern was rescheduled to later in the month and yesterday’s game was pushed back to today.  Hopefully those extra days will help give UMass the energy and focus needed to win someplace where they haven’t done so in a while.  Lawler Arena has been a house of horrors for the Minutemen in recent years.  They’ve lost their last six games there, including an 11-2 shellacking in 2011.  Their last win in North Andover was March of 2008.  Hopefully that streak ends this afternoon as with their win last night Vermont is again right behind the Minutemen in the standings.

Beer The Triangle
There aren’t a lot of good pregaming options for Merrimack, but with a quality place like The Tap you don’t need many.  I’m looking forward to drinking an appropriately named Snowbound.

For those making the trip, I got this notice in my email:

Tomorrow’s game between #20 Merrimack and UMass-Amherst will begin at 4:00pm at Lawler Arena with KidsFest to begin at 2:30pm in the Volpe Gym.

The Merrimack College staff is continuing to clear snow from campus parking lots but with the massive amounts some lots will undoubtedly lose parking spaces. We encourage you to arrive early and adhere to the direction of campus police for parking instruction in order to arrive at the game on time (doors open @ 3:00pm).

Thank you in advance for your understanding and safe travels to all who will be on the road this weekend.

There doesn’t appear to be any previews up for the game as of now, but Mike McMahon will likely have coverage soon on his blog.

UMass picked up three commitments on Friday.  Two of the newest Minutemen are brothers, Brandon and Jake Wahlin.  Brandon is a 5’8”, 170lb forward currently playing for Austin in the NAHL where he leads the league in total scoring.  Thus far this season he has 18 goals and 39 assists in 45 games.  According to this story on his commitment he also had interest from Lowell, Nebraska-Omaha, and Bemidji State.  It appears that the Minnesota native will be in Amherst this coming fall.  Here are some highlights of his play in previous years:

.

While Brandon is due to join the team next year, his brother Jake is pegged to come to Amherst in 2015, the first commitment for that class.  According to the Western College Hockey Blog Jake is rated as the second best sophomore playing Minnesota High School hockey.  He currently has 15 goals and 30 assists in 26 games playing for White Bear Lake.  Wahlin is considered one of the top ‘96 born players in the country.  Overall these look like two great pickups for coach Micheletto, especially the younger Jake whose trajectory is looking pretty bright at this stage of his career.

If White Bear Lake sounds familiar for UMass fans, it should.  Justin Braun’s hockey career started there, went through Amherst, and then of course on to the pros with the San Jose Sharks.

The other commitment came from 6’0”, 180lb defenseman Maddison Smiley.  Smiley is currently teammates with UMass recruit Patrick Lee for the Brooks Bandits in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.  The Bandits are an amazing 47-3-3 on the season.  Smiley puts up a lot of points for a defenseman as he has 16 goals and 19 assists in 33 games this season and recently returned from injury.  Like Lee he earned an invitation to the Team Canada West Camp for the World Junior Challenge.  Here’s the release from the AJHL which includes some quotes from his coach.  And here’s an article about him from last fall.  Smiley is due in Amherst in the fall of 2014.

Recruit Update

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
19 GP / 2 G / 6 A / 8 Pts / 38 PIM / +7
Gallacher didn’t have any points last weekend.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
7 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Stats as of 1/30

Marc Hetnik – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2013
41 GP / 2 G /7 A / 9 Pts / 34 PIM
Hetnik had a goal this past weekend that was setup by former Minuteman Andrew Tegeler who is doing well in juniors with four goals and 10 assists in 17 games.  Hetnik did leave the next game though after being hit from behind.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
15 GP / 6 G /11 A /17 Pts

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
36 GP / 15 G / 22 A / 37 Pts / 74 PIM / +12
Kravchenko had a goal and an assist in one of his games this past week.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
49 GP / 19 G / 25 A / 44 Pts / 26 PIM
Lee had a goal and an assist in one of his recent games.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
19 GP / 4 G / 18 A / 22 Pts
Stats as of 1/30

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
29 GP / 4 G / 5 A / 9 Pts / 12 PIM
Smith continues to elevate his game as of late, scoring a game winning goal in a game over the South Shore Kings this past weekend.

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
19 GP / 13 G / 9 A / 22 Pts / 22 PIM
Vatrano is on campus for Spring semester.

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